The May 9 USDA-NASS Crop Production report indicates that U.S. hay stocks on farms on May 1, 2014, totaled 19.18 million tons, a 35-percent increase over the 2013 figure of 14.16. With December 1, 2013, stocks reported at 89.30 million tons, the implied December-May disappearance is 70.13 million tons, up from the 62.39 million tons reported for the same period in 2012/13. Increased year-to-year hay disappearance was encouraged by relatively more abundant hay supplies, estimated at 150.1 million tons in 2013/14 and up from 141.3 million in 2012/13, and lower prices: $179 per ton for 2013/14 compared to an average of $187 per ton for the 2012/13 marketing year.
The Prospective Plantings report indicates that producers intend to harvest nearly the same number of hay acres in 2014 as in 2013, approximately 58.3 million acres total. In combination with declines in livestock numbers, hay supplies available per RCAU are expected to rise in 2014/15. Increased hay supplies and a decline in the price of other animal feeds are likely to put downward pressure on hay prices through 2014.
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